21/09/2015 3:09 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST

Five Things You Didn't Know About Your Lipstick

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Overhead view of lipsticks

Good old lippie -- you can always count on it for a one swipe pick-me-up. It comes in every shade on the Pantone spectrum, not to mention any texture you might want.

It even has its own theory. The "lipstick effect", coined by Leonard Lauder (chairman of Estee Lauder), states that during periods of recession shoppers will forgo big-ticket luxury items, yet still fork out for smaller indulgences, such as premium lipstick. But did you know that your favourite shade may contain fish scales?

Here's a few other fact you might not know about your faithful lip colour.

1. It Gets Its Shine From Fish Scales

Ever wondered how your shimmery lipstick looks so naturally luminescent? Chances are it contains powdered fish scales -- one of the traditional and most popular ways to add a pearl finish to beauty products. Known as guanine, the ingredient is still used in some lipstick production, but if you’re looking for an animal-friendly alternative try a vegan lipstick instead. “Natural micas are just as effective at getting a pearl finish, without the need to use animal by-products," said Angelique Ahearn of NEEK Cosmetics.

2. It Gets Its Colour From Crushed Beetles

You can thank crushed beetles for giving red or pink lipstick its vivid hue. Known as carmine, cochineal extract or C.I. 75470, the ingredient is commonly used to add colour to base shades. But it’s not the only option. “We use natural pigments in all our lipsticks to get the colour just right.” says Ahearn.

3. It Should Be Hydrating

Matte. Semi-Matte. Shimmer. Pearl. Long-Lasting. Glossy. It’s pretty easy to get confused with lipstick these days. Bottom line: no matter what your formula of choice it should never leave your lips feeling dry, cracked or flakey. Beeswax, jojoba or shea butter are the ingredients to look for, as they’re known to rehydrate without compromising finish too much. Even matte formulas should feel comfortable.

4. It Has a Used-By Date

If your makeup bag is due for a spring clean consider this: lipstick generally lasts about one year. You can extend its life by keeping it in the fridge, but if it’s looking dry, cracked or slightly off colour it’s time to give it the toss. Most beauty products will have a little symbol of a tub on it, with a number inside. That number (usually 6, 12 or 24) indicates how many months the product is good for. If it's older than that, chuck it.

5. It Can Make Your Teeth Look Yellow

Okay, you probably knew this one already, but do you know which shades are more likely to make your smile less startling? "Anything orange, frosted or neon (aside from the odd fuchsia) have a dulling effect on your teeth, so stick to blue-based reds and pinks, or a sheer nude gloss instead," said Tobi Henney, celebrity makeup artist.

Photo gallery Celebrities Wearing Red Lipstick See Gallery